Creating impact

Through creativity, collaboration and inclusion we seek and solve problems to improve life on earth.

Video footage demonstrating impact at UNSW ADA

Discover, be inspired by, and learn more about the problems we are solving in ADA.

Our researchers think differently and engage widely. We work in partnership with non-profit, public sector and corporate organisations to create new solutions to old and emerging problems.

Find out more about our research impact over the last few years through this series of stories highlighting the rich diversity of approaches and achievements among ADA researchers.

Our academics are open to working in new teams, with new partners to solve complex challenges.

Creating impact video series

Be inspired by some of the creative, collaborative and inclusive approaches of our researchers in this series of videos produced by Elliott Small, and with thanks to all our featured researchers and their research partners.

Creating impact digital book

Discover the variety of ways our researchers work in this collection of impact stories. From creating technology that enhances our lives to addressing vital health and wellbeing priorities, from identifying access and equity issues to engaging with climate, energy and urban space challenges, our collaborations seek out today’s most pressing issues.

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Creating impact story series

The extinction line: how art can help us re-imagine climate futures

Art that’s culturally aware and connected to place can influence our climate-change trajectory, says a researcher from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture.  

Narratives of pride central to Aboriginal young people’s sexual health

Messaging that supports Aboriginal self-determination promotes Aboriginal young people’s sexual health and wellbeing, say social researchers from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture. 

Boosting teacher well-being at the start of term can help combat attrition

Investing in teacher well-being benefits teachers, students and society more broadly, says a UNSW educational psychology researcher.

Does our understanding of human rights reflect our socio-cultural diversity

Learning from lived experience will help us better engage with diverse communities on human rights issues, says an expert from UNSW Arts, Design & Architecture.

Barangaroo’s public art tells stories of Country & community

The harbourside precinct demonstrates how art can help revitalise communities, respect cultural heritage and re-imagine public space, says its precinct-wide curatorial advisor.

New urban heat observatory will help drive more climate-resilient cities

An innovative urban heat methodology will help adapt our urban centres for more comfortable living.

Precarious lives: the urgent need to support informal, unpaid carers

Understanding how caring ends is integral for informing and improving support for carers, says an expert from UNSW’s Centre for Social Research in Health.

Are our accessible bathrooms inaccessible to people in wheelchairs?

Greater focus on inclusive design will improve the liveability of the built environment for all people, says a UNSW expert in the impacts of the built environment on people's physical and mental wellbeing.

Imagining creative futures: how culture and robotics can enhance our lives

Understanding the relationship between culture and robotics will improve the human experience for diverse populations, according to a new book edited by researchers from ADA's Creative Robotics Lab.

Bio-psychological indicators can help improve science students’ engagement

A major research project is unearthing new insights into the interrelationship between teaching approaches, student motivation and engagement, biopsychology and educational outcomes in science-learning.

New national research to ensure Australia’s HIV response stays relevant

A partnership between academic, community and government experts will provide new knowledge of HIV-related behaviour for under-researched groups.

A Good Yarn: Koori Elders talk about culture, country and history

An oral history series documenting the experiences of ten Aboriginal Elders will contribute Aboriginal voices and perspectives to primary education.

Hidden toll: examining the social costs of Long Covid

Qualitative research into Long Covid will help us better understand its impact on human bodies, health care and social worlds.

Reclaiming language key to Aboriginal cultural identity and wellbeing

A language revitalisation partnership will develop community language resources and best-practice recommendations for language acquisition within Aboriginal contexts.

Sustainable forest management research to improve Nepalese livelihoods

A participatory research project is developing more equitable forest management policies and practices with local communities in Nepal.

Addressing the digital divide between urban and rural communities

A UNSW partnership with the University of Sydney and Regional NSW is delivering smart digital resources for regional councils as part of the Smart Places Acceleration Program.

3D printing is expanding our sustainable building horizons

3D printing processes and building materials can create more sustainable construction in environments as diverse as outback Australia and outer space.

How curating beyond disciplines can transform our cultural institutions

A book on exhibition practices by leading artists and curators from Australia and Canada promotes the power of objects to reframe knowledge.

Exhibition inspires rethinking our relationship with digital health data

An exhibition project provides valuable insights into how we interact with and understand our personal health data. 

Experimental festival re-activates Warlpiri First Nations heritage

A radical Indigenous festival draws together the Ancestral and the now in a vital celebration of ceremony, ritual and dance performance.

Land valuation tool uses big data to inform urban planning and investment

A next-generation planning toolkit allows urban planners and policymakers to explore the effect of new infrastructure and changes to planning controls on surrounding property values.

There’s no place like home: the hard truth about child sexual exploitation

Addressing the over-representation of parental offenders in child sexual abuse is vital to primary prevention and survivor support.

Super cool building materials prove powerful arsenal against climate change

Building materials that reflect rather than absorb solar energy can reduce peak temperatures in our cities by up to four degrees.

Reclaiming the narrative through First Peoples' creative practice

With culture at its heart, First Peoples’ creative practice can transform communities.

Housing and homelessness left behind in post-Covid recovery

Systemic reform for housing policy in Australia is still needed despite innovative emergency responses during the pandemic.

How machine learning can clean up our cities

Computational design can identify greater efficiencies across the built environment, enabling us to build smarter, more sustainable cities.

Dancer in the art: best practice for choreography within the museum context

An experimental artist-focused research collaboration will identify best practice for engaging with choreographic works in museum and gallery spaces.

New digital platform simplifying sound design for creatives

A platform that simplifies the coding for sound installations has the potential to broaden their use and enhance their complexity.

Parallel: structural change with, beside and beyond the museum

A project engaging regional art museums explores how we can transform our museum’s relationship to non-Anglo and culturally and linguistically diverse art communities.

Literacy key to improve higher education access for disadvantaged students

Prioritising literacy is a fundamental first step towards addressing equity issues in higher education.

Bridging troubled waters: engaging Uralla on water sustainability

Inclusive decision-making that consults local communities is key to making informed choices on environmental issues, such as water security.

Augmented reality project explores lived experience of disaster survivors

Art meets mental health in an immersive art project co-designed with people with lived experience of trauma from regional, rural and remote areas.

Closing the other gap: instilling Indigenous knowledges through education

A partnership between World Vision and UNSW engages with local Indigenous communities to address a critical knowledge gap around First Nations people and culture.

Reducing stigma towards people living with blood borne viruses, STIs

A study using short online videos of people living with blood borne viruses and sexually transmissible infections demonstrates a promising reduction of stigma in the short term.

Virtual reality game an innovative approach to manage acute pain

A virtual reality game featuring a dog offers a non-pharmacological complement to opioid interventions in acute pain management.

Everyday I’m hustling: how the lean startup method can help you live

The lean startup method teaches you to embrace failure to fast-track radical change, whatever your agenda.

More nuance in liquor licensing can serve public health

Localised data on alcohol-related harm and licensed outlets will help decisions on new liquor licences maintain a health focus.

Support for young people trumps get-tough approaches in juvenile detention

A training program for youth justice officers that develops interpersonal and behaviour management skills has improved safety and culture at its trial sites.

‘Bring Them Home, Keep Them Home’

An Aboriginal-led research project is developing greater understanding of the complex challenges Aboriginal families face reunifying with children removed to out-of-home care.

G20 nations must reduce exploitation of women migrants

G20 countries have a moral responsibility to protect women migrants working in the garment and domestic sectors, says international research consortium.

Artificially intelligent visualisation artistically re-imagines wildfires

A new AI-driven immersive visualisation system will help us to address the new generation of extreme fires caused by global warming.

History of domestic border control can inform our response to Covid-19

Valuable insights can be gained from analysing our history of internal border closures for infectious disease management.

Giving a voice to people with intellectual disabilities

Inclusive research with people with intellectual disabilities and on the autism spectrum supports self-determination and improves education and health outcomes.

Designing a tool to improve aged care environments for people with dementia

A new computational analysis tool combined with spatial analysis will optimise aged care design to make it more fit-for-purpose for people living with dementia.

Repair, reuse and reinvent: transforming textile waste into new products

Discarded fashion and textile items can be repaired, refurbished and remanufactured to improve sustainability and generate revenue for charity organisations.

Communication for justice: ensuring language is no barrier to a fair trial

Interpreters and judicial officers must collectively work for optimal communication to ensure non-English speakers have equitable access to justice.

Localised disaster responses show promise for Pacific Island countries

Locally led approaches to disaster recovery can promote long-term gains for Pacific Island communities.

Nuanced approach required to tackle economic and financial abuse

A partnership between UNSW’s Gendered Violence Research Network and Commonwealth Bank is raising awareness around groups at greater risk of economic and financial abuse.

Social robotics can help us move towards a more inclusive society

Social robotics can make social life more accessible to a greater diversity of people.

Testing the waters: improving water literacy in local communities

Engaging communities on water quality testing and stormwater management promotes cultural ownership and investment in sustainable water practices.